Separating topographical and chemical analysis of nanostructure of polymer composite in low voltage SEM

We have collaborated on a paper published by our colleagues at the Department of Engineering, University of Sheffield, regarding the use of SEM to study polymer composites. The paper is available at the Institute of Physics website as part of their journal of physics conference series.

The possibility of separating the topographical and chemical information in a polymer nano-composite using low-voltage SEM imaging is demonstrated, when images are acquired with a Concentric Backscattered (CBS) detector. This separation of chemical and topographical information is based on the different angular distribution of electron scattering which were calculated using a Monte Carlo simulation. The simulation based on angular restricted detection was applied to a semi-branched PNIPAM/PEGDA interpenetration network for which a linear relationship of topography SEM contrast and feature height data was observed.